Ryan "Freckles" Gracin & Phillip "Big Daddy" Grabowski's book
I'll Be Your Drill, Soldier
By Crystal Rose
Ryan Gracin had a good life until he told his parents he was gay. Since they yanked their support for college he had to find a way to pay for it. Little did he know that joining the Army was going to change his life forever. Especially when he was introduced to a Drill Sergeant who was nicknamed 'Big Daddy'.
Phillip Grabowski had joined the Army to follow in his father's footsteps; by the time Ryan entered, he had already made a name for himself. He was a soldier's solider, but Ryan was making it really hard for him to remember that.
Impactful, emotional, memorable. I'll Be Your Drill, Soldier delivers an effecting jolt to the senses. I loved I'll Be Your Drill, Soldier!
I have a stack of books to read and what do I do? Yep, I purchase another book. I'll Be Your Drill, Soldier is part of the Goodreads Smut Selections choice for May and based upon the reviews and ratings I knew that it was going to be fantastic. Holy shit it was AMAZING!
There are only a few books a year that I completely connect with on an emotional level or a book that sends a jolt through my system. Well so far for 2011, I'll Be Your Drill, Soldier is one of those books. I was dying for more stories about Phillip & Ryan and hoping that the author had a book two but unfortunately, no book 2 published yet. It looks like one is in the works but not completed.
At the very beginning of the book Crystal Rose, the author, indicates that the story is set in a world where everyone is treated the same regardless of sexual orientation - like it should be. Crystal Rose made this story entirely believable even though it is fiction. She proved with ease how simple life and people's attitudes could be if everyone just accepted everyone and if sexual orientation wasn't an issue. With the exception of Ryan's pastor father and his mother, the fact that some of the men in the story were gay, was never an issue.
The story starts out with 4 guys arriving by bus to endure ARMY basic training. Brendon, Kenneth, Patrick and Ryan become fast friends and then they remain close throughout the years after their life changing 8 weeks. The journey the reader is taken on for those 8 weeks is intense and is an excellent read. Brendon and Kenneth are heterosexual, Patrick is still deciding which way he wants to go and Ryan admits that he is gay.
Ryan developes an infatuation with his Drill Sergeant Phillip Grabowski which leads to some embarrassing and funny moments. The reader eventually learns that Drill Sergeant Grabowski is also gay and I couldn't have been happier with that news. What an amazing boss/subordinate dynamic the pair must endure. The situation made for some great angsty reading. Just before graduation, Phillip and Ryan have their first sexual encounter and hot doesn't cover off the steamy scene. It was a long time coming but you have to respect that Phillip didn't take advantage of his position as Drill Sergeant. Just writing this review makes me want to go back re-read the book again.
After basic training each of the men are shipped out to various locations including Iraq. There is a time gap to cover off over the next few years and the author does a great job by filling this continuance with sporadic emails between the group of friends.
After jumping ahead a few years, the men have matured, they've experienced life changing events and Phillip and Ryan meet up again. Even though Ryan still has a major crush, it is more controlled and it became apparent that Phillip has carried a torch for him all these years. There is this one scene where Ryan decides even though he has feelings for Phillip, he wants a relationship and not a fling. Phillip texts Ryan a reply to that conversation that was perfect. "Body wants u. Mind needs U. Dinner w/me?" I melted a little.
The last thing I want to do in a review is give away any sort of spoilers that would ruin it for a reader. So I don't want to give much more away because as good as the story was at the beginning, it gets even better as it moves into the second half of the book. The relationships are more mature, the storylines become more angsty and since the reader has invested so much into these characters, there are some emotional moments that are gut retching.
I'll Be Your Drill, Soldier is not a super M/M smut book. If you are looking for a smutty M/M book, don't get the book for that reason. You'll be disappointed if that is your goal. As hot as the few scenes are, this book is about emotional connections and an amazing story.